100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Thirteen - "Videodrome!"

Blessings from Dead Heaven, my morbid maniacs.

It's almost 7:30, and I've been up for like three hours. I get like this sometimes when I'm on the cusp of exciting things, and today seems no exception.

Last night was great - a very good friend came by to watch "The Hunger" with us and we found ourselves a little blown away by the film. It's a lot more sexually graphic than I remember it being. Also, long ... oh my god is it long. My friend noted, "I thought it was going to end right after Bowie died - and that was really early on!" It also has quite a few "Blade Runner" kind of visuals - no real surprise, since the two directors are brothers. But overall I enjoyed the movie, and I enjoyed the company I watched it with. It's good to have a bit of running commentary at times, because it gives me a sense of what other people think about the piece. Also, Phil is pretty goddamn clever.

So, this excitement of which I speak ... I have no idea what it stems from. I mean, tomorrow is my birthday and all, and I am planning in getting thrashed, but that's a whole day away. But it could be that, even though I don't usually get excited about my birthday. It could be the prospect of getting paid early (I am so damn broke right now - anyone wanna buy a gal a latte?) It could be that I might be going out tonight for drinks and karaoke (something I never ever get to do).

Or it could be today's movie, gentle readers.

"Videodrome" as I explain below is one of my favorite movies not only in teh genre but maybe on the all-time list. It's David Cronenberg, it's James Woods, it's Debbie Harry burning her titties with cigarettes ... oh man, I think I honestly cannot wait to watch this fucker!

Check it all out below ... and thanks again for reading.

Videodrome (1983): Directed by David Cronenberg. Starring James Woods, Debra Harry,

The Skinny: One of Cronenberg’s early entries in what became a series of films exploring the horrors of the human condition (including “Scanners” and later “The Fly,” both on which are on this list). James Woods stars as the owner of a cable station who finds a pirated signal broadcasting bizarre torture porn. As he tries to discover the source, he encounters a world of strange, hallucinatory sex, violence and tumor-causing broadcasts that seek to transform us into the New Flesh.

What’s Good: I think this is the first film on the list so far where I didn’t have to consult Wikipedia for the background info. It’s has to be in my top ten horror movies – if I ever were to make such a list. In fact, I think a few of Cronenberg’s films would be on that list, because for a while there the man was on quite a roll. And this film is super-strange: in one scene, Woods inserts a videocassette into a vagina-like wound in his side and in another scene, a gun he hides in the same wound becomes fused to his hand. It’s a theme of modification that would continue in Cronenberg’s work all the way up to 1998’s “ExisTenz,” where people can jack in to what is essentially a MMPORG with “wetware” fused into their bodies. Add to that the weird sex, insane violence and clever names like “Barry Convex” and “Brian O’Blivion,” and it’s a perfect blend of techno-horror and 80s-era sci-fi madness.

What’s Bad: It’s intense, it’s vivid and it’s gross: people’s heads explode with disfiguring tumors and insert various objects into vaginal-looking wounds. Also, Debbie “Blondie” Harry is a self-harm practitioner who burns her breasts with cigarettes and encouraged Woods to play along. So, yeah – it’s kind of sleazy and tasteless, so if that’s not what you’re after, then you should definitely look somewhere else for your entertainment.

Why We Like It: Pretty much for the very reasons mentioned above. It’s sleazy, exploitive, 80s-paranoid, hallucinatory gold, baby. Woods is at his insane best, shouting and running around killing people with his gunhand, and Harry is hypnotic as she whispers from a television screen, telling Woods to kill, fuck, eat, sleep and insert beta cassettes into his new abdominal vag. Man, what’s not to love?

Memorable Stuff: Like I said – abdominal vagina. Plus, the Snuff TV show broadcast on the Videodrome signal is well far the way out there and beyond disturbing. Thankfully it’s only given to us in short little bursts. And of course, Woods’ signature line, delivered several times towards the end, has inspired many an industrial band and DJ to incorporate it into their stuff. “DEATH TO VIDEODROME! LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH!”